A|I: The AI Times – Behind the push to call AI sentient

See through garbage bags full of food waste.
Plus: Meta's chatbot won't stop talking about itself.

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We Interviewed Meta’s New AI Chatbot About … Itself (WIRED)

Meta apparently believes that AI can learn to do better. The company just announced BlenderBot 3, a much more advanced chatbot designed to learn through conversation without getting into the kind of trouble that derailed Tay. And the company has made it available for anyone to try out.

Accenture continues Canadian tech acquisition spree with Solvera Solutions, Eclipse Automation (BETAKIT)

Founded in 2005, Solvera’s team of more than 450 provides consulting and services across the ServiceNow, Microsoft, and SAP platforms. Solvera works with clients in the public sector, health, financial services, utilities and energy, and agriculture industries.

AI-Powered Food-Waste Fighter Afresh Nabs a $115M Investment (WINSIGHT GROCERY BUSINESS)

San Francisco-based Afresh said it will use the cash infusion to expand the reach of its Fresh Operating System platform to new categories like meat and bakery. The system helps stores with forecasting, inventory, ordering and store operations. The money will also be used to increase the company’s workforce, while also helping it expand to Europe, Afresh said.

BrainBox AI's Series A round reaches $30 million following EDC top-up (BETAKIT)

This close adds an additional $6 million USD to the Series A round, which had an initial close in October of $24 million USD. When it raised the $24 million, BrainBox said at the time that it was working to raise a “top-up” within six to eight weeks from additional investors on the same terms and valuation as its first Series A close.

POWERED BY: RBC Capital Markets
Canadian Private Technology Firms Talk M&A, Talent Shortages, and Fixing Corporate Culture

Sky-high IPO valuations and venture capital boom times may be over for now, but Canada’s private technology companies are creating new opportunities to innovate, share ideas and collaborate.

Read more here.

Amazon to buy Roomba-maker IRobot for US$1.65B (BNN BLOOMBERG)

The deal arrives just two weeks after Amazon said it was buying up a chain of doctor’s offices and suggests Amazon is forging ahead with acquisitions despite growing scrutiny of Amazon’s market power from antitrust regulators in the US and Europe.

Four Canadian companies selected for inaugural CB Insights Advanced Manufacturing 50 list (BETAKIT)

According to CB Insights, the firms that made it into the Advanced Manufacturing 50 list were chosen based on factors including R&D activity, market potential, business relationships, investor profile, news sentiment analysis, competitive landscape, team strength, and team novelty.

Aisera lands $90M to automate customer service requests with AI (TECHCRUNCH)

CEO Muddu Sudhakar says he built Aisera after perceiving the need for “predictive AI” solutions that could auto-resolve customer service, IT, sales and operations problems. Leveraging AI, the platform plugs into existing systems of record, including help desk portals, to respond to incoming inquiries and requests.

A.I. Is Not Sentient. Why Do People Say It Is? (THE NEW YORK TIMES)

“A conscious organism — like a person or a dog or other animals — can learn something in one context and learn something else in another context and then put the two things together to do something in a novel context they have never experienced before,” Dr. Allen of the University of Pittsburgh said. “This technology is nowhere close to doing that.”

Intelligent City puts scaffolding in place to scale sustainable building solution (BETAKIT)

Intelligent City secured $22 million (all numbers CAD) over the past year in equity and grant funding. Its most recent Series A round of $12 million, which closed last month, will help the company build out its robotic manufacturing plants and scale into Ontario and along the West Coast of North America.

UiPath acquires London-based NLP startup Re:infer (TECHCRUNCH)

Founded out of Romania initially as Deskover in 2005, UiPath is one of the preeminent RPA platforms, helping to automate repetitive software-based tasks at companies including Google, NASA and DHL. After rebranding in 2015, UiPath moved its headquarters to New York City two years later.

Michael Edgar

Michael Edgar

Michael is a multimedia journalist working out of the U.K. and a staff writer for BetaKit.

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